Posts for tag: braces
Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"
"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.
The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.
Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.
Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.
Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.
So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”
Have you been thinking about straightening your teeth, but aren't quite sure about wearing metal braces? Invisalign could be exactly what you've been looking for! At One Dental Care in Billerica, Massachusetts, Dr. Kunio Chan helps many patients achieve the smile they've always wanted with the Invisalign orthodontic system. It's a unique, low-maintenance and discrete way to change your smile for the better, and Dr. Chan is here to discuss it further.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a unique way for adults to straighten their teeth without committing to the change in their appearance and lifestyle that comes with traditional braces. Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign has a series of lightweight plastic aligners that gradually shift your teeth into the proper position. Each aligner is designed to be worn for a short time, then switched out for another in the series your Billerica dentist will prescribe for you. These aligners are practically invisible when worn and can easily be removed for cleaning, eating, and drinking. With Invisalign, there's no need to limit your diet or purchase specialized cleaning tools; you are free to eat the foods you enjoy and maintain your regular dental hygiene routine.
Can Invisalign help me?
Most of our patients at One Dental Care in Billerica who are interested in Invisalign are ready to get started with the system after a consultation with Dr. Chan. However, traditional braces may work better for younger patients, as the aligners can easily be misplaced or removed more often than the recommended 2 to 3 hours or less each day. Additionally, if you have severe crowding, gum disease, or other dental problems, you may need to have those issues resolved before using Invisalign.
Does Invisalign sound like something that would enhance your smile? Contact One Dental Care in Billerica, MA to set up a consultation with Dr. Kunio Chan today!
At any given time some 4 million teens and pre-teens are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances to correct a malocclusion (poor bite). While most cases are straightforward, some have difficulties that increase treatment time and cost.
But what if you could reduce some of these difficulties before they fully develop? We often can through interceptive orthodontics.
This growing concept involves early orthodontic treatment around 6 to 10 years of age with the goal of guiding the development of a child’s jaws and other mouth structures in the right direction. These early years are often the only time of life when many of these treatments will work.
For example, widening the roof of the mouth (the palate) in an abnormally narrow upper jaw takes advantage of a gap in the bone in the center of the palate that doesn’t fuse until later in adolescence. A device called a palatal expander exerts outward pressure on the back teeth to influence the jawbone to grow out. New bone fills in the gap to permanently expand the jaw.
In cases with a developing overbite (the upper front teeth extending too far over the lower teeth when closed), we can install a hinged device called a Herbst appliance to the jaws in the back of the mouth. The hinge mechanism coaxes the lower jaw to develop further forward, which may help avoid more extensive and expensive jaw surgery later.
Interceptive treatments can also be fairly simple in design like a space retainer, but still have a tremendous impact on bite development. A space maintainer is often used when a primary (“baby”) tooth is lost prematurely, which allows other teeth to drift into the empty space and crowd out the incoming permanent tooth. The wire loop device is placed within the open space to prevent drift and preserve the space for the permanent tooth.
To take advantage of these treatments, it’s best to have your child’s bite evaluated early. Professional organizations like the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend a screening by age 7. While it may reveal no abnormalities at all, it could also provide the first signs of an emerging problem. With interceptive orthodontics we may be able to correct them now or make them less of a problem for the future.
If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Interceptive Orthodontics.”
Have you always wanted a straight, healthy smile, but just never received orthodontic correction? Are you at a point where you have no confidence when you smile in public? Consider a consultation with your dentist in Billerica, MA, Dr, Kunio Chan, at One Dental Care. He offers innovative Invisalign clear aligners, an outstanding way for older teens and adults to get well-aligned smiles discreetly, efficiently, and comfortably. Read on to learn all the details.
Invisalign has straightened smiles all over the world for the past 20 years. Instead of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, patients wear customized, clear aligners that are smooth, comfortable, and virtually unnoticeable. Older teens and adults may qualify for Invisalign if they have mild to moderate smile problems such as:
- Open bite
- Cross bite
- Orthodontic relapse (teeth drifted after braces were removed)
- Tooth tipping
- Tooth rotationOvercrowding
Through oral examination and digital X-rays, your Billerica dentist will tell you if Invisalign is your best option. If it is, you'll wear 18 to 30 pairs of aligners over nine to 15 months, a shorter treatment time than traditional orthodontics. Additionally, you'll enjoy aligners that are:
- Removable for special occasions, meals and oral hygiene
- Easily cleaned with non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft brush
- Computer-designed to achieve effective and attractive smile alignment perfect for your unique needs
- So discreet few (if any) people will notice them
Who can get Invisalign?
Many people, except the most complex of orthodontic cases, may qualify. Even teens, who sometimes have difficulty complying with orthodontic oral hygiene routines and dietary restrictions, do well with Invisalign. In fact, Invisalign Teen aligners are fitted with compliance tabs which change color to indicate if the appliances are worn properly. (20 to 22 hours a day is the minimum.)
In addition, people with busy school and work schedules love the simplicity of Invisalign treatment. They see Dr. Chan every four to six weeks so he can check their progress and deliver the next aligner pairs in the care plan. There are no painful or lengthy adjustments to endure, and oral tissues and gums suffer no sore spots as are common with traditional braces.
Are you interested?
If it sounds as though Invisalign could help you, contact One Dental Care for a consultation with Dr. Kunio Chan in Billerica, MA. He has extensive training and the expertise to know if Invisalign is best for your smile. Call the office today at (978) 667-0691.